Benjamin Carson, first person to separate conjoined twins, visits CMU

Benjamin Carson urged parents, educators and students Saturday night to emphasize education and caring to keep the United States great.

“The thing that is going to sustain our position in the world is not the ability to shoot 25 jump shots. It’s the ability to solve a quadric equation,” he said.

Carson stood before a nearly-full Plachta Auditorium to deliver a message of hope through his speech, “Gifted Hands.”

In 1987, Carson gained worldwide recognition for leading a team in the successful separation of conjoined twins. The 22-hour surgery was the first of its kind to separate twins joined at the head without fatalities to either infant.

Now the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., Carson is a philanthropist and 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Detroit freshman Amanda Johnson was brought to tears during the question-and-answer portion of Carson’s speech.

“I’ve known of his story since sixth grade,” Johnson said. “He’s been an inspiration to me.”

Johnson said many of Carson’s obstacles growing up in Detroit paralleled her own. She also is from a single-parent home and admits she was never looked at as the smart kid in early elementary.

Just as Carson’s mother was a defining influence in his education, Johnson said it was her mother’s decision to transfer her daughter to a better school with more supportive, hands-on teachers that encouraged her to excel.

‘Be nice’

During his speech, Carson focused on education, God, health care reform and the importance of being nice.

He asked to audience to take a ‘Nice Pledge’ for the next two weeks. Men will be chivalrous, and women will not curse men out for pulling out chairs. Carson told audience members to smile at the people they walk by, and converse on elevators.

“Be nice,” he said.

Carson later addressed questions about health care reform, stem cell usage, and even answered questions from a child who wondered what books he read growing up.

“He has a very compelling story that I believe touches a lot of different people in different ways,” said Denise Green, associate vice president for institutional diversity.

The Office of Institutional Diversity is one of many offices and organizations that worked together to bring Carson to campus.

Carson left attendees with the call to think big, and allow talent, God, knowledge and compassion to lead them.

“It’s very difficult to make progress without taking risks,” he said. “You have to do it in an intelligent way.”


  1. tamara da silva says:

    your the best ben clarson with Gods help you can do everthing i watched your film too number 1 fan tamara im going be a doctor to when i grow up maybe even be the first to cure cancer

  2. yeah my message went up thank mr.carson soory i put an R in your name everybody make mistakes

  3. amlmostafa says:

    Thank you for this good topic, I was really needed it, so thank for you again And I know more information about this topic , you can found it in this file
    <””>Conjoined Twins </td>

  4. Tamara you made another mistake. You said sorry to put an R in your name. DUMBY it’s Carson ! It has an are in it you put Clarson so you meant to say sorry to put a L in your name.

  5. Michelle Seddens says:

    I love this compeling story about Dr.BenCarson it givesme much info and and i desire to learn more.
    By:a 10 year old

  6. Infact Dr. Ben Carson is a very authentic man and i would love to be like him cuz he is ma role model. May God bless you for the good things you are doing in your country. Amen

  7. Pls i want to know, how did you feel being the first man to seperate two conjoined siamese twins. cuz u are my role model and i want to e like you.

  8. Ben Carson and his mother have been extremely inspirational. Loved his story from the Chicken Soup series.

  9. Pingback: When will the black community speak up for all of their own? | Jlue’s Weblog

  10. Pingback: When will the black community speak up for their own? | Jlue’s Weblog

  11. ben carson is like a hero separating conjoined twins

  12. i love it i look up to u

  13. Dr ben is amazing

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